Letters from Home

Time, Sculpted and Consumed

The Bridge of SighsWe have time, and we use it up. It is the ultimate commodity in a temporary life. In a creative space, it seems to waiver in form: great gaping hours of fearful emptiness, or ultra-thin slivers of panicked release.

Between reading Jon Kabat-Zinn’s “Wherever you Go, There You Are” and Scoutie Girl’s latest post on flexibility and balance in our creative lives, I am buggered as to whether my writing would more successful if I were to “do nothing” or “work smarter.”

The creative life and the consumer life constantly fight, like angry siblings.

So many people I know attest that you should “Do what you want and money will follow” and some have even shown it to be true. For them.

What makes a creative day successful? Is the beautiful piece of work completed (or even started)? Or is it having the value of your time/craft validated by the audience/consumer?

Tara and Stephanie look at the concept of “balance” and “flexibility” as being see and saw of a creative “career”. From Tara (Scoutie Girl):

I need boundaries for those around me. My ability to have any sense of balance in my life is tied to my ability to rein in the flexibility I feel around my creative career. If I want to achieve balance, I have to accept a less flexible work arrangement (note: it’s still pretty damn good…). And if I want to maintain ultimate flexibility, I have to accept a less balanced life.

Tara says that flexibility leads to her to “have to accept a less balanced life.”

The language of this reply is like a sigh. For a writer/artist (maybe others too?), a day ahead holds promise. It is waiting to be ready to be filled– with the beauty and deep emotional connections that have our right brain firing constantly.

To “have to” build boundaries and limit “creative time” to 10-4 p.m., Monday thru Thursday (for example), seems to instinctively dive the creative mind into a place of limitations.

Hence, the <sigh> I sense in Tara’s acceptance of “balance” as her creative master.

Man, we DO hate to be reminded that art is work.

2 thoughts on “Time, Sculpted and Consumed

  1. Hey Elizabeth!

    Did you read my post back a few weeks ago on the “how of ‘how i do it all’ is that i don’t”? I actually don’t “sigh” about leading a less balanced life. I kind of love it, actually 😉

    I don’t really crave too much balance because I love what I do SO MUCH. What I do crave is flexibility, the ability to put down everything and go to the pool with my daughter on a nice Monday.

    Now, that being said, I’ve chosen to work much smarter lately because I have accepted that I NEED time away from my own creating to become inspired. I need more time to read, to interact with others, to learn from life. So in that comes a sort of pseudo balance – but really, my life revolves around my career. And I like it that way. My family does too – because I’m a happier mom & wife and it brings in a good deal of income. Now that’s a balance I can be proud of!

    1. Thanks Tara… part of my expertise is in rhetorical analysis (reading the language of writing), but that doesn’t mean I am right all the time, haha!

      Your blog is great at achieving a real depth of quality in creativity (activating it, not just talking about it!) That’s what I like about it.

      I am always interested in how we achieve the “work” process, while creating the art too.

      Nice job!

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